For most individuals, much of the content being consumed these days comes directly from online streaming services and online streaming platforms, the days of cable and satellite TV are becoming a thing of a past in favour of all of the convenience and variety that digital options bring. The same is true for similar markets like gaming, these are being played at an increasing rate with the growth of things like online casinos and betting sites amongst an older audience, and the widespread success of esports amongst the younger audience. One thing that many services have in common now however is the growing subscription costs across different online packages, will this continue to be a future for online services, or will this look to change?
For most services, the cost has only been increasing over time which would suggest that subscription services aren’t going anywhere, and with the amount of content that is being put out on the market with some having hundreds of new shows and movies each year, the value is still there. The cost may only be worth it to swallow for most users if that constant stream of content does come in, and services that have found this well drying up have suffered over time as there isn’t enough diversity to bring frustrated users back.
On the other hand, paid exclusives are starting to muddy the waters – platforms like Disney+ have utilised this to give viewers exclusive access to the latest movie releases with a large fee similar to the cost of a theatre ticket – providing access to the content a month or two ahead of time has worked out well, but there has been a lot of backlash in the meantime that this isn’t included in the existing subscription fee and leads to fears that in the future it won’t just be a monthly fee that’s needed, but the additional cost of paying for bolt-on and additional extras just to view content that may have otherwise been included in the past.
As a growing number of streaming services emerge and each with their own catalogue of releases too, it’ll become harder for some users to justify the cost and this is already being seen with those cancelling certain subscription-based accesses in favour of others – with studios unlikely to pool together and all looking for their own slice of the pie, this could create too wide a net, with not enough interest to keep many going.
With that in mind, subscription-based platforms are certainly the future for online entertainment and something that will look to stick around for the longer time, but just how successful newer options can be and those unable to keep up with the growing demand can be is yet to be seen.